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J Mol Biol. 1992 Dec 5;228(3):778-86.

Mode of action of topoisomerase II-targeting agents at a specific DNA sequence. Uncoupling the DNA binding, cleavage and religation events.

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Department of Molecular Biology, University of Aarhus, Denmark.


Methods of uncoupling the DNA binding, cleavage and religation reactions of topoisomerase II were employed to investigate the influence of topoisomerase II-directed drugs on the individual steps in the enzyme's catalytic cycle. A special DNA substrate containing a major topoisomerase II interaction site, which can be cleaved by the enzyme in the absence of any concomitant religation, was used to examine the effect of topoisomerase II-directed agents upon the DNA cleavage reaction. The experiment demonstrated that the topoisomerase II targeting agent Ro 15-0216 stimulates the DNA cleavage reaction extensively, whereas the traditional topoisomerase II inhibitor, mAMSA, has only a minor effect on this reaction. Topoisomerase II trapped in the cleavage complexes can religate to the 3' hydroxyl end of another DNA strand. Using this religation assay, it was demonstrated that the major effect of mAMSA is an inhibition of the enzyme's religation reaction, whereas Ro 15-0216 has no effect on this reaction. Recently, considerable attention has been given to drugs preventing topoisomerase II from introducing DNA cleavages. In the present paper the initial non-covalent DNA binding reaction of topoisomerase II was investigated under conditions excluding enzyme-mediated DNA cleavage. This demonstrated that the anthracycline, aclarubicin, prevents topoisomerase II from performing its initial non-covalent DNA binding reaction and thereby abolishes the DNA cleavage reaction of the enzyme. The results presented here demonstrate that profound differences exist in the mode of action of different agents targeting topoisomerase II, and that the enzyme can be affected by such agents at both its DNA binding, cleavage and religation subreactions.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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